My midwife had attended over 300 births. I was very comfortable with her care and knowledge. She is a wonderful advocate for mothers birthing where ever and with whom ever they want. She was instrumental in getting the laws changed here in UT to support home birthing Mamas
This may sound absurd, but I actually haven't asked. My primary midwife was my doula at my last birth. She was a practicing midwife as well at that point, but I wasn't up for a homebirth at that phase of my life. However, both DH and I were so impressed with her knowledge and competence during my last birth that we didn't even consider anyone else. She's a great fit for us, and I don't care if she's acted as the primary at 10 births or 300. Her partner has been a CNMW for decades and while I didn't ask her birth count, either, I know it's in the hundreds.
My midwife had been in practice about 25 years and had assisted in about 1300 births. I felt very comfortable with her. She had also attended 6 or 7 other twin births, which was important to me since I was having twins.
I'm not sure how many births my midwife had attended as the primary. Not too many as she became licensed early in my pregnancy. Maybe about 120. But I felt very comfortable with her. She knows her stuff and continually educates herself. There isn't any doubt that she loves her work and strives to be the best midwife she can be, every day.
My previous midwives had nearly 40 years combined experience. I was comfortable with them, but in hindsight we weren't a good match. I just didn't have anything to compare them to, so I was happy with my care. I was telling my husband as we left from my last prenatal appointment with my "new" midwife that I always left feeling really good about myself, our visit, the pregnancy..etc. Whereas there were a few times with my previous midwives that I left just feeling down. They scolded me a lot. At the time, I thought they're care was great, but I'm glad I chose differently this last time.
My midwife had done around 150 births - many of them out of the country in a training setting - and had been practicing for only a few years. She was much younger and less experienced than the midwife I had imagined myself using. I interviewed midwives with much more experience behind them. But I knew my midwife was the one as soon as I talked to her. She was amazingly, wonderfully perfect for me. I almost wish I was having another baby so I could use her again!
Between 25-27 years as a homebirth MW with over 1500 births. Before becoming a MW she worked as L&D in hospitals but got fired a couple of times for letting Mamas do what they wanted rather than following policy.
I don't remember for sure b/c I only asked her these questions before hiring her for my first birth almost 6 years ago. At that time, I remember she said that btwn she & her mw partner, they had attended over 2000 births. I know both of them worked in the hospital prior to becoming hb mw's so some of those were there. I don't remember how many years she practiced, but I'd say easily 10+. I know I'd be comfortable with someone w/much less experience - I almost hired someone last time who hadn't been a mw all that long (maybe a couple years with not all that many births comparatively). It has to do with the person - how she views birth, how she'd handle certain situations, etc. - in addition to her level of experience. A mw once told me that you (the mw) are shaped by your last 5 births (I'm attempting to paraphrase). I think that's something to consider. If they've had a lot of easy births lately, they'll be colored by that. If they've had trauma or even a death, they might be waaaaay more hands-on than you'd like. So that's all stuff to think about as well.
my current MW has been doing this for over 30 years... sometimes i think it makes her a bit cynical about women's ability to think for themselves... but i do feel very safe with her, now my only worry is can she make it to my birth on time, since she is at least 90 minutes away and baby is due in the winter.
my former MW (now retired) was catching babies for about 9 years when she attended me. she highly recommended the DEM she trained this time around. i was a little put off by the fact that she had only been doing this about 3 years when i met her, but it was obvious when i met her that she was very competant and had attended many births. i was going to use her, but she moved to CO!
anyway, since i have had so many unexpected issues this time around, it's good i have a CNM.... since DEMs are illegal in NY and can't order glucometers or other tests.
If I remember correctly I think our MW has attended births for 12 or 15 years as a licensed DEM. I've been most impressed though by some of our specific conversations about births she's attended. She's been really open in talking about her experience and I feel comfortable trusting her. That's rare for me with medical professionals. DH likes her too. I found her through the recommendations of two graduate students I've worked with who had powerfully positive experiences with home birth.
Our midwife is a midwife trainer. She is exceptionally gifted as well as experienced. She has traveled internationally, learning the techiques of midwifery from other cultures where it is the norm and not the exception. She has more knowledge of healing and curing than nearly every doctor I've ever met. (In fact, I can think of only one doctor that I'd put beside her and they'd probably be equals.)
I am so impressed by our midwife. I would sing her praises to any and all. Anyone in the St. Louis, Missouri area should use this midwife. (Because of the weird laws in Missouri, however, I will not reveal her name openly.)
Our midwife is sought by many in the region to train them to be midwives and her opinions on the skills of other midwives carries major weight in the homebirthing community. We went with her in lieu of a long-time family friend because our midwife's skill and craft so far exceeded that of our family friend.
We love our midwife.
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